On Wednesday, June 21, Acting President Yemi Osinbajo met with the state governors in Nigeria at the Aso Rock villa to discuss matters, especially the security situation of the country.
Below are some points from the discussion they had at a consultative meeting held at the old banquet hall, State House, Abuja:
1. Traditional rulers in Nigeria
Osinbajo said: "Today’s meeting is one which I hope will be able to seal all of the discussions we’ve had with the different groups, with the traditional rulers, the leaders, the elders.
"I hope that we will be able to seal that because obviously the governors are critical in this whole process and it’s impossible of course to get anything done or to even implement any of the ideas or suggestions we may have without your excellencies being the primary movers of whatever it is that we agree to do."
2. The cause of Nigeria's problems
Speaking on the root of Nigeria's problems, the acting president said: "I think that most will agree with me that important issues that we are faced with today are issues that center around unity in a multi-religious, multi-ethnic and very diverse country.
"And as it’s always the case, we need to handle all of these issues carefully because at various times there are attempts to play up those fault lines."
3. The people behind the unrest
"There are attempts by various groups, individuals, sometimes by politicians to play up those fault lines and to create tension sometimes for purely selfish reasons but at other times for even genuine reasons.
"I think that it’s our duty as leaders, especially as elected leaders to really make a difference in the way that these conversations and interventions go," he explained.
4. The best way to communicate
"Clearly, we are all allowed to express our views and there’s a part of this that is expected in any healthy and robust democracy: people arguing and disagreeing, sometimes stridently," he explained.
"But there is a point where a line has to be drawn, and that is when conversations or agitations degenerate into hateful rhetoric, where the narrative descends into pejorative name-calling, expressions of outright prejudice and hatred," Osinbajo concluded.
5. Watch what you say
"Our constitution guarantees freedom of expression and we are a people who like to talk. We express to ourselves very loudly, in an agitated fashion in some cases.
"But it is important for us to recognize that it is those same words that can cause conflagration, alarm and can ultimately lead to calamity. We must be careful with the way we express ourselves," he warned.
6. What the federal government will do
Professor Osinbajo then stated what the government would do. "It is the commitment by Federal Government being in charge of law enforcement agencies, not to tolerate a situation where there is any attempt to dislodge any Nigerian in any way or even intimidate any Nigerian."
7. Nigeria will remain united
"Nigeria and our constitution clearly states that the country with the Federal Government and 36 States is sovereign and indissoluble under the Constitution.
"In other words, it is one united country. That is also an important and fundamental basis upon which we operate as Nigerians. Our Constitution states that our nation is one undivided and sovereign," he reiterated.
8. The Nigerian youth
Speaking on the Nigerian youth, Osinbajo said: "We also agreed that we need to do more to engage our youth productively, creation of jobs and multiplying the economic opportunities available to the young people.
"And very importantly, we agreed on the need for leaders to speak out more forcefully to counter divisive speech or any kind of warmongering.
"We agreed that cultural leaders, religious leaders and political leaders should speak out forcibly against any kind of divisive speech and we expect that our political leaders would do so without waiting to be prompted."
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Meanwhile, Senator Rabiu Kwankwaso advised the federal government of Nigeria to be lenient in handling Arewa youths who wrote eviction notice to Igbo in the north so as to avoid inciting tribal clash between the two tribes.
Watch this NAIJ.com video on Nnamdi Kanu and his followers: